La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Gibson, Colabello, Santana/Escobar

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 5, 2014 - 11:16 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins 1-0, 10-inning win over Cleveland

GIBSON CONTINUES THE ROLL: Only 56 of the 100 pitches Kyle Gibson threw were for strikes on Monday. He threw first-pitch balls - BALLS - to 13 of the 25 batters he faced. And he got six groundout but 14  flyouts or popups. The sinkerballer wasn't on top of his game, but he pitched seven shutout innings. Some of it could have been the conditions. The wind was blowing in some and it was cold by the end of the game. ``This could be completely guessing, but they were trying to get under the sinker quite a bit,'' Gibson said. ``A lot of fly balls were sinkers that were not moving. I think their approach was to get under the ball and not hit the ball on the ground." Twins starters now have a 1.84 ERA over their last four outings,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
GREAT PLAY ON BRANTLEY'S GROUNDER: Chris Colabello made that play in the fourth inning a highlight candidate. Once he went after Brantley's grounder - and realized he wasn't going to reach it - he should have taken himself out of the play. But he retreated to the base as Gibson approached. And Brian Dozier almost hit him with the throw. ``I told him, `What are you doing? Get out of here" '' Dozier said while laughing.

GOING FOR IT: Gardenhire lifted Josmil Pinto for a pinch runner with two outs in the seventh after Pinto doubled to left. Chris Herrmann walked before pinch hitter Eduardo Escobar grounded out to end the inning. It was an interesting call because you knew that spot in the order was going to come around again, and it did. Danny Santana, the pinch runner for Pinto, batted in the ninth and showed off his jets as he beat out an infield hit to reach base. Would you have preferred Gardenhire to save that bullet and keep Pinto in the game for a chance to hit a home run? Most managers start pushing buttons in the seventh inning, so it wasn't that surprising that Gardenhire took a shot there. Run scoring opportunities were scarce. Pinto's double raised his average over .200, as he has been slumping lately. If Santana does score, the bullpen has been pretty reliable. A lot of things to consider there.

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